Q&A with King’s 2019 GDC Scholars

Tech at King
Jun 13 · 5 min read

If one blog post isn’t enough, we have more answers from King’s 2019 GDC scholars on their experiences at GDC!

For the fourth year in a row, in partnership with Diversi (a non-profit organisation which works for greater diversity within gaming), we offered female students a complimentary All Access pass to attend the 2019 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco and also an internship in one of our game studios. The scholarship is a part of our long term plan to encourage more female talent to join the games industry and so far has been a success, with all five scholars of 2018 joining King in full-time roles.

This year, the scholarship positions were tripled to fifteen, and the scholars have since returned from GDC ready to start their individual roles.

Ilke — Game Artist Intern — London

What was the best session/talk you attended?

My favourite session was ‘Expanding the World of Candy Crush: A Postmortem on ‘Candy Crush Friends Saga’ by Tracey John, Jeremy Kang and Robert Mackenzie, all speakers from King. The talk focused on the challenges posed by creating a new game in an old franchise in terms of the games’ art and design. There was a lot of details that I hadn’t thought about before. Seeing the problems as well as the team’s approach to solving them was enlightening to see!

What from GDC will you hope to take back to your work at King?

There were so many great talks by amazing people from King at GDC, it was an incredible insight into the work ethic and the King culture, and I’m really excited to be part of that! I’ve learnt about topics so much broader than my work role and I think that’s really important to be able to communicate with people from other teams and work together.

Sandra — Game Developer Intern — Barcelona

What was the best session/talk you attended?

‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ AI Postmortem was the first session I attended and it is, without a doubt, the one that I enjoyed the most. The speaker, Adam Noonchester, talked about a vast amount of topics surrounding the game’s AI — from the combat to the animations, along with the navigation and physics, among others. I had to stop taking notes about what he explained, because it was a lot and everything was very interesting. As a game programmer, I could spend hours listening to how specific features and systems are made — and even more if I like the game!

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

On Tuesday, I spent most of the day in the room where the ‘Math for Game Developers’ sessions were held. Among the tasks (all of them programming tutorials), the ‘Generating and using Navigation Meshes’ really caught my attention. Recently, we integrated the Recast & Detour libraries into the game engine that we are building at University for a project. This talk allowed me to have a better understanding of the complexity behind the generation from scratch and the later use of a navigation mesh through a step-by-step guide.

What attracted you to King?

King has always been very colourful to me, because of its titles and because of its culture. Everything at King goes around the word ‘fun’. The company shows the love that pours into the development of video games by putting the community first. In the first place, the community of workers, not only by having the most magical atmosphere in their offices but also by emphasising diversity. In second place, the community of players, from my younger cousin to my grandmother.

Andrea — Level Designer Intern — Malmo

What were you most excited for at GDC?

I was excited to go there and meet both the other GDC scholarship winners and other important video game developers from the industry. I was excited to go there and have a real taste of what a real videogame developer would in such a conference and learn as much from those people as possible for my future internship at King!

What from GDC will you hope to take back to your work at King?

The ability to learn from every person I meet regardless of their role to make myself a better professional and student and to never lose this ability to learn on the new industry standards as the years go by.

Angelika — Technical Artist Intern — Berlin

What was the best session/talk you attended?

I focused on the roundtables and tutorials — the ones that didn’t get recorded. This is where it was at — the round tables — full of great experienced people willing to share their problems and solutions, their knowledge so we can advance faster as an industry.

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

“Math Game for Game Developers: Inside Neural Networks”

I loved Michael Buttner’s approach of including neural networks in a real-time scenario in Unity. That was, for me, the most advanced math talk. It uncovered the great hidden potential of using Neural Networks to solve difficult problems in performance-critical code.

Josefin — Level Designer Intern — Stockholm

What attracted you to King?

It’s an inclusive and creative work environment, which is very important to me. One of my personal goals is to make games that anyone can play, and to make gaming more inclusive, which is something that aligns very well with King’s goals.

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

Adam Noonchester’s talk “Marvel’s Spider-Man AI Postmortem” was great. It was interesting to learn about advanced ways to use AI animations, attacks, and collisions in a big open world game.

GDC is an opportunity for King’s scholars to learn more about the industry and to gain a greater understanding of not only what tech is used when developing a game, but other areas they may be unaware of before. This experience will be useful during their scholarship and hopefully beyond!

If you would like to join our Kingdom, check out the opportunities on our job page!

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Tech at King

Read the latest tech articles from King. Learn about our tech and our company culture.